A lively chronicle of the year that shaped popular music forever!
Fifty years ago, friendly rivalry between musicians turned 1965 into the year rock evolved into the premier art form of its time and accelerated the drive for personal freedom throughout the Western world.
The Beatles made their first artistic statement with Rubber Soul. Bob Dylan released "Like a Rolling Stone, arguably the greatest song of all time, and went electric at the Newport Folk Festival. The Rolling Stones's "Satisfaction" catapulted the band to world-wide success. New genres such as funk, psychedelia, folk rock, proto-punk, and baroque pop were born. Soul music became a prime force of desegregation as Motown crossed over from the R&B charts to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Country music reached new heights with Nashville and the Bakersfield sound. Musicians raced to innovate sonically and lyrically against the backdrop of seismic cultural shifts wrought by the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, psychedelics, the Pill, long hair for men, and designer Mary Quant’s introduction of the miniskirt.
In 1965, Andrew Grant Jackson combines fascinating and often surprising personal stories with a panoramic historical narrative.
Five decades ago, the Beatles kicked off the year 1965 in popular music with "I Feel Fine," which, music writer Jackson notes, was the first intentional use of feedback on a record. According to this uneven narrative, in 1965, the escalation of the Vietnam War, fighting in the streets of L.A. and Detroit, and political strife fueled a revolution in popular music, igniting the Rolling Stones, the Byrds, the Supremes, Otis Redding, and Buck Owens, among many others. Jackson narrates the well-trod evolution of music season by season and month by month, resulting in sometimes repetitive history. He emphasizes the ways that music develops as one artist hears another's riff or lyric and builds a new sound on it. For example, when Brian Wilson heard the Lovin' Spoonful's "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice," it inspired him to write "God Only Knows," the centerpiece of Pet Sounds. Roger McGuinn went out and bought a Rickenbacker electric 12-string guitar after he heard George Harrison playing one, and the jangly sound soon became McGuinn's trademark with the Byrds. Despite the book's flaws, Jackson's rapid-fire jaunt through the musical highlights of 1965 the rise of Motown and Stax Records, the early music of David Bowie, the arrival of the Bakersfield sound is a helpful survey for readers unfamiliar with the history of popular music.